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Kirov Ballet at City Center, New York

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Am I the only one hesitant because of the inevitable program changes?

And this is just me, but between the Kirov doing Balanchine at the tail end of the run and going to Paris/London for the programs from 4/20-24, I'm going to opt for Paris/London. It's not that I think the Kirov won't do Balanchine well; I just want to go to Paris :wink:

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The big Kirov Shuffling Game is usually with the announced casting. Perhaps one out of three ballets on a mixed bill may be changed, e.g., Theme & Variations in place of Ballet Imperial. 'Flora's Awakening' and 'Raymonda Act 3' are, IMO, the huge novelties (for the US) and, thus, lures of this run; they wouldn't dare change that.

We can almost guess the casting.

The first night will undoubtedly include Lopatkina and Vishneva. I can easily see the following casting for the opening night:

Raymonda A3 - Lopatkina/Zelensky

Paquita - Vishneva/Kolb

Bayadere Shades - Pavlenko/Sarafanov (...they wouldn't dare cast Somova first night, would they?)

...or...it could be Lopatkina leading every ballet on opening night, as this program mirrors one of her 2005 galas, in which she led each of these ballets in a single night!

Other educated guesses:

* Dying Swan will flip-flop between Lopatkina and Pavlenko

* Ballet Imperial will be first-cast Lopatkina, with possibly Zelensky; Obraztsova as 2nd soloist (Lopatkina recently took on the leading role) Tereshkina/Korsuntsev are also very fine in this. Tkachenko also dances Ballet Imperial (I think), as well as having recently debuted Raymonda...perhaps we'll see her in Raymonda A3? Maybe-maybe, although my guess is that the Raymondas will most likely be, in this order: Lopatkina, Pavlenko, Tereshkina.

* Somova will surely be cast as Nikiya and in Etudes. Sarafanov is fantastic in the '2nd solo guy' role in Etudes...but, if so, expect to see Ilya Kuznetsov or some other tall guy perform the portions of the role that involve partnering the lady. [The Kirov is the only place where I've seen a '3rd solo man' in Etudes, employed just to do the lifting because one of the solo men is too slight.]

* Ayupova might make a 'cameo appearance' in Spectre de la Rose, if she comes. Korsakov and Kolb as the Rose.

* Scheherazade - let's brace ourselves for Farouk Ruzimatov as the Golden Slave; then again, he is ageless in this role, a true artist! IF Farouk dances Golden Slave, then perhaps we'll see his usual recent-partner as Zobeide -- Makhalina? Nioradze may also do a 'cameo' in the role, althoughher recent appearances at the Mariinsky are fewer than even those of Vishneva and Makhalina.

* Novikova/Sarafanov will undoubtedly be first-cast Don Q pdd

* Ekaterina Osmolkina has made a name for helself in Diana & Acteon at competitions and galas; expect to see her in this, perhaps with Shklyarov or Korsakov

* Rubies is Vishneva's signature role, although Novikova dances it regularly now. Fadeev is usual male lead. Golub used to also dance the lead but has, in fact, danced little of anything since the summer '06 Shostakovich fiascos (not her fault; just a coincidence); not sure if Golub has been injured or otherwise indisposed during the present season.

* Serenade - Gumerova & Ostreikovskaya are usually in the female lead casting for this; Dumchenko used to dance it beautifully but doesn't seem to be cast in it very often nowadays

* Chopiniana - Pavlenko! Pavlenko! Pavlenko! She is incomparable in the Prelude. Sukhorukova and Ostreikovskaya have also made names for themselves in this ballet, in recent years. Kolb is a recent-notable male lead. Shklyarov may have already debuted in the role? Sergeev almost surely will, too.

* in the Forsythes, we already know the 'regulars' - see recent Mariinsky Festival cast and/or DC casts, e.g., Andrei Ivanov in Approx Sonata; Pavlenko or Vishneva leading Steptext; Sarafanov/Fadeev as the men in Vertiginous Thrill; Pavlenko & Vishneva exchange the lead in 'Middle' with tall redheaded Kondaurova as the 2nd lead.

* Flora is Obraztsova. It would be great to see her dance the ballet with Fadeev, as they formed such a magical duo in 'Romeo & Juliet' at the Kennedy Centr, last January. Osmolkina also dances Flora. I wouldn't be surprised to also see Novikova in the mix among Floras, come 2008.

Prepare to see LOTS of Alexander Sergeev, who is being pushed mightily by the Kirov coaches nowadays. I wouldn't be surprised, come next April, to see him partnering Lopatkina in Bayadere! Shklyarov is a very wonderful young dancer who will undoubtedly also be featured heavily at City Center.

Perhaps by the time that 2008 rolls around, 2006 graduate Maria Chugai will be taken on tours. She's a real dazzler! The star of the '05 class, Daria Vasnetsova, should also be dabbling in featured roles by then.

THE ONE BUMMER with this programing: No full-evening-length ballet! Folks, this is a season of only 'one acters.' (Inevitable, given the limited wing space at the venue.) Well, at least we'll get the complete 'Bayadere' at the Kennedy Center a couple of months before this.

All in all, the tour is quite promising. What will be the actual casting, one year from now, is anyone's guess.

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Is it common that tickets go on sale so long in advance? a year?
It is unheard of, except for the Kirov. The tickets for this summer's Ring Cycle by the Kirov Opera at the Met went on sale over a year ahead of time. Then this, with the ballet. I wonder if it is a matter of managing cash flow. Smart, when you have surefire hits such as the Ring and these wonderful programs.

I arrived at 55th St. at 10:20, expecting the box office to open at 11:00, but surprised to discover 1) it didn't open until noon, by which time, I was sure, my specific seats of choice would all be snatched up by phone and internet buyers; and 2) I was, in a historic moment, Number ONE! :wink: The second customer, a friend of friends, was number two, arriving ten minutes later. Number three arrived closer to 11:00, as I recall. Joining the line soon thereafter were a few BT-ers. Fortunately, we had beautiful weather to enjoy as we queued.

I bought tickets for myself and a friend, both of us to at least one of each program, all exactly as I requested. Now I just have to remember -- for a year -- where I've tucked my tickets for safekeeping. :wacko:

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Thanks for sharing the on-site aspect of this morning's ticket saga, carbro.

I just saw my boss about taking time off in April 2008 to see the Kirov. You should have seen the dumbfounded expression on his face, as if to say "You have to be kidding!" Then he chuckled, "You've taken this ballet thing to a whole new level." No problem - vacation time has been reserved! No proposal deadline is important enough to keep me from taking my annual leave as requested today. of course, it will take a few reminders between now & then. :wink:

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I had no problem getting through to any other sites by the City Center site from the USB modem with my laptop. I just went onto my building's shared computer, and voila! Tickets for April 17 and 18.

If I can get off from work to do this trip to Paris/London, I may be sleepwalking through the school performance on the 20th, but it will be worth it :wacko:

Edited to add: Mais non! I forgot this would be from NYC, where there are morning flights to London that get in early-mid evening, avoiding all semblance of a Saturday the 19th red-eye. An overnight in London, hopefully close to Waterloo station, and then on the 9:09 Eurostar to Gare du Nord, giving me 1.5 hours to get to Palais Garnier by 2:30pm for the school performance with only one transfer on the Metro :)

I figure if I'm not taking more than three days in a row off between July 2007 and February 2008, I should be able to convince my boss that taking two weeks in March and ten days in April is only fair :wink:

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Mine came on Monday too! Now I have a whole year to misplace them!

They seem to be aware of the absurdity and risk in selling tickets so far in advance:

I was told by the phone sales person to save my order number, so they could take care of me if I misplaced the tickets.

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Now I have a whole year to misplace them!
:P Here's a suggestion, if you'll forgive my overfamiliarity: In your underwear drawer, taped so the top of the envelope is near the top of the drawer. That way, you'll see them every day.

Or so. :wink:

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I got mine, too. I've always kept my ballet tickets & travel vouchers in their very own jewel box, all stacked in chronological order. My treasures - a stack of ballet tickets beats a bag full of diamonds, in my book. :yucky:

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I hope it will not look too inappropriate if I ask what kind of seats everybody managed to secure.

I bought mine at the box office and was told that the best orchestra seats that were actually available started at row K or (in some instances) L. I found it quite unbelievable that they had sold all the center seats in all the front rows for all the performances in just a couple of days (I went to get mine early last week) and was told by the gentleman in the window that those seats (center, rows A through J) had been reserved by the "house". I understand that this is a common practice everywhere and that not every single goes on sale to the general public. But all of the first 9 rows? I was absolutely stunned.

Hence my question. What kind of seats did YOU get? What section were you interested in and was your request accomodated? Were you disappointed in what they offered you or pleasantly surprised? Did you get the section that you wanted? Or is it possible that I was discriminated against and am actually the only person that the box office clerk decided to move as far away from the stage as possible? :)

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As far from the stage as possible? Are you kidding?

I'm in Rear Mezzanine, row R or S, depending on the date. I got exactly the seats I requested, because I ordered by price (cheapest, as money is a big consideration) and seat number, not row number. But those are the lowest rows at that price. I made a huge effort to get to the box office as soon as it opened, because I expected prime tickets at each price level to be snatched up very quickly. This is, after all, the Kirov, and it always sells out in New York.

However, if money were not a consideration, I still would not want to sit in the front of City Center's orchestra. It's better than it used to be, but there's still the matter of not seeing feet. "The best" is not necessarily the closest. The rake is such that you can be assured you'll see the feet in those "best" rows. You can almost be guaranteed not to from the first few rows, though. If one must sit in the orchestra, the rear is much better. It is still pretty close to the stage compared to similarly lettered rows at the Met, for example.

Don't you like to look down and see the whole stage picture, Waelsung? I find I miss a lot when I sit on the orchestra level. At City Center, the Grand Tier is very close to the stage, but gives a nice, elevated view, enabling you to see the dancers in the back rows as well as everyone's face.

P.S. I would be surprised if the Box Office did not set a fair number of center orchestra seats aside for the Kirov itself. It's conceivable that some will go on sale within days of the performance, but you'd be taking a huge risk if you wait in hopes of getting some.

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Well, I was not looking for the very first rows, but rather for row E or F. I think they're sufficiently removed from the stage to allow the full picture including the feet. Am I wrong on this?

As for the seemingly eternal Orchestra vs. Balcony argument, I do like to be able to look down and see the whole stage, but the first rows of the Grand Tier do not seem to be for sale, either and I can hardly tolerate leaners :)

Please correct me, if I'm wrong, but Kirov itself is not selling tickets when they go on tours. Sure, they get some seats reserved for them, but the first 9 rows? I have an impression Ardani Artists (the agency that represents the Kirov Ballet in the States) decided they would need to accomodate a lot of V.I.P.s later on and simply pulled all the best (or what is perceived as such by uninitiated) seats.

They may change their mind, but I completely agree with you, Carbo, about the risks involved in waiting to see if these seats ever do go on sale, that's why I decided to take what was offered to me.

Now I might need a good bankrupcy lawyer :)

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I'm in Rear Mezzanine, row R or S, depending on the date.

Me too.

'I got exactly the seats I requested, because I ordered by price (cheapest, as money is a big consideration) and seat number, not row number.
Seat number only possible if you go to the box office or call, I think? that's why I don't order online unless it's for out of town.
But those are the lowest rows at that price. I made a huge effort to get to the box office as soon as it opened, because I expected prime tickets at each price level to be snatched up very quickly. This is, after all, the Kirov, and it always sells out in New York.

I liked the attitude, because I always feel that anything I'm enthusiastic about will sell out immediately, so if I hadn't called the box office and found out things were pretty lethargic (not the old Maria Callas days) I'd have had the pleasure of meeting you, since I think you said you were first in line. However, I was still able to get Center Aisle on Row R to see 'Rubies' and it was just this past Thursday, so those still looking should still be able to find something, but not wait too long.

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From Ardani's website:

Under the artistic direction of Valery Gergiev since 1988, the Kirov continues its tradition of discovering exceptional dancers: Uliana Lopatkina, Diana Vishneva, Daria Pavlenko, Igor Zelensky, Igor Kolb, Andrian Fadeev, Danila Korsuntsev and Leonid Sarafanov will be part of the 200-member company performing at City Center.
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Ardani has reserved (all center, i.e., numbered in the 100's) Orchestra Rows A-J, Grand Tier Row A (best, but only if you have very tiny legs...) for VIPs at $500, and Mid Mezz Row A for poorer VIPs at $250 for Opening Night. A post-perf party, photo book, and signed poster are the bonuses. They also say there will be VIP seats for the rest of the run. However, so far only some seats for the first few orchestra rows are no longer available. Those lucky VIPs, who will get a great view of the back of the conductor's head and avoid the sight of toe shoes... Well, Opening Night I'll have a great view of the back of their heads!

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So all of this will probably be sold out way before the performances, if not sold out already?.. I really want to see them, but I don't know what my schedule will be like at that time. Why did they put them on sale so far in advance?

For the fun of it, I checked the closing performance (April 20) ticket availability on City Center's site. Ignoring the seats listed as held back by Ardani (for Opening Night and ???, centers for Orch A-J, GT A, Mezz A), I found that first row center seats were available in each price range. So not exactly selling like hotcakes! Also, only a few of those VIPs are listed as sold for Opening Night by Ardani. I would guess those closer rows (obviously, some of these very undesirable) will eventually become available at more normal prices, wouldn't you think? Didn't check other dates, as the closing, with such a great program, should be relatively desired.


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I'm ready to take the plunge. Despite just spending $700 on 4 Royal Ballet performances and outlaying a ton of cash for my StPetersburg trip (with a couple days in Moscow), I'm ready to buy the VIP tix to Opening Night if only to see and meet these wonderful dancers. I'll try to get less unreasonable tix to some other shows, but since i'll be coming up from Arizona, i'll end up with a limited selection, i expect.

Anyway, I'm looking at the Ardani website and it shows quite a few of the tix available for opening night. Orch A-J center and Grand Tier A (all). So, what should i get? Is Grand Tier preferable to Orch?

Grand Tier A 107-108?

or Orch J 108-109?

how close is too close for the Orchestra?



(I'm seeing JEWELS and CHOPINIANA/FIREBIRD/SCHEHEREZADE at Maryiinski and DON Q at Bolshoi, so i'm most excited about the Petipa program!)

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